Charles Barkley argues James Harden may be better than LeBron James and better offensively than Kobe Bryant

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

NBA legend and TNT analyst Charles Barkley recently claimed that Brooklyn Nets star James Harden is not only better than Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, but also a better offensive player than Lakers legend Kobe Bryant was.

“Right now, no disrespect to LeBron or Giannis [Antetokounmpo] or anybody,” Barkley said on ESPN’s “Get Up” with Mike Greenberg. “James Harden might be the best basketball player in the world. Period.”

Harden is putting up fantastic numbers once again this season, as he is averaging 25.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 11.2 assists per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the field.

Harden has averaged 30.4 or more points in each of the last three seasons, but he seems to be taking a different role as more of a facilitator in Brooklyn.

Barkley went on to talk about Harden’s offensive prowess compared to that of some of the league’s all-time greats.

“And like I say, he is the most awesome offensive player I have ever seen. Listen, Michael [Jordan] and Kobe were better players from the guard standpoint, but as far as offensively, they couldn’t shoot 3s like him. They were not as great at dribbling the basketball, going to the basket and getting fouled. I mean, this guy, every time he goes to the basket he’s going to hit somebody and get two free throws.

“But, we gotta give that guy credit, man. He is an offensive machine, plain and simple. And, some of the nights when Kyrie [Irving] is going off, it’s because of James.”

Barkley clearly loves Harden’s offensive prowess, but he may be going a little far by claiming that he may be better than James, Jordan or Bryant.

All three of those players have multiple championship rings on their resumes, and Harden has yet to win one.

The Nets and Harden will look to win a title this season, but there is a chance they may have to beat James and the Lakers in the NBA Finals to do it.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.